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Tate & Lyle sees annual profit modestly ahead of last year

(Reuters) - Tate & Lyle on Thursday said it expects modestly higher annual adjusted pretax profit in constant currency as the company benefited from strong demand in North America for its food and beverage solutions, cost savings and good performance of its commodities business.

The British food ingredients maker, one of the world's biggest producers of sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup, said revenue rose 8% for the third quarter ended Dec. 31.

"While the operating environment remains uncertain and out-of-home consumption continues to be below pre-pandemic levels, the business has positive momentum," Chief Executive Officer Nick Hampton said.

The company, which had not given any forecast for the fiscal year ending March 31 citing pandemic-related uncertainty, said it expects adjusted earnings per share to be well ahead of last year.

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Tate & Lyle said its food and beverage solutions unit, which makes texturants and stabilisers, benefited from strong demand in North America for home consumptions products and improving demand for out-of-home products, with other regions also performing well.

Profit at the commodities business was ahead of the year-ago period as co-product recoveries, including from corn oil, were exceptionally strong, the company said.

"We read Q3 performance as very strong across all divisions. While there have been some phasing benefits, this is a business that looks to be humming operationally," Jefferies analysts said in a note.

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(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)